What an interesting—and tricky—question from JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY who asks us what defines book addict vs book lover:
First of all, how do you define a book addict and a book lover? Which one are you? What are the differences between the two? Do you think that being a book addict is harmful for a person? Are there merits to being a book addict vs a book lover?
I think that one can be a book lover without being a book addict, but I am not sure that the reverse is true. I think that a book lover can be someone for whom books are a revered pastime, but something that is a part of an otherwise busy and fulfilling life. I think that a book addict, on the other hand, views books as the most important part of a life that comprises, well, largely books.
A book lover might read 30-60 minutes a day, which works out to 30-60 books per year. They may love to read, and may think of it as their favorite hobby…but it’s probably not their only hobby. They may watch TV, or like going to movies. They may coach their kid’s cheer squad, or go to the gym several times a week. Maybe they take piano lessons, or like to bake cookies for bake sales. Regardless, books aren’t the only focus of their lives.
For the book addict, well, that’s likely not true. They read, and when they aren’t reading, they are thinking about reading. They may have a kindle tucked under their leg during a dental procedure, so that when the dentist goes to read the X-rays, they can sneak in a few pages. They read at lunch in the car while eating. They may keep a separate kindle in the bathroom. They read standing up in grocery lines. They read at football games. They read at family reunions. Movie theaters. Intermissions. Airports. Cruise ships.
Book addicts can no more NOT read than they can NOT breathe.
I’m an addict.
As to whether this addiction is harmful, well…I guess it could be, if it interfered with things in your life that were actually important. If you lost you job because you were reading in the stairwell, or if you got hit by a car because you were reading in the crosswalk then, sure. Harmful.
But most addicts I know are only missing out on TV shows and movies and football games, and that seems harmless enough.
What about you? Do you think you are a book lover or a book addict?